Community Church of Sebastopol

United Church of Christ

Come and Find the Quiet Center

1000 Gravenstein Hwy North           707.823.2484

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Your Pledge

What Shall We Bring

What Shall We Bring
By the Gratitude + Generosity Team

This year’s pledge drive theme is “What Gift Shall We Bring?” We are encouraging each other to let resources flow toward what matters most. Following in the way of Jesus, we seek to be a source of healing and hope in a world of much brokenness and despair. Responding to God’s abundance, we want to live out of a place of joy and gratitude.

On October 14, we will kick off our fall pledge drive. We will be asking every one of our church’s members and friends to make to make a bold and spirit-filled financial pledge in support of the 2019 local church ministry and mission giving budgets.

Our goal is big, hairy, and audacious: 160 households pledging $369,000 to our local church ministry and $41,000 to our wider mission for a total of $410,000 (15% increase over 2018). Meeting this goal, we plan to increase our facility maintenance budget while growing our ministry by shifting the focus of our current Associate Minister, Rev. Rachel Knuth, to pastoral care, and by conducting a nation-wide search to call a new full-time Associate Minister for Faith Formation who will oversee and support education and fellowship programs for children, youth, and adults.

It is our honor and joy to serve this congregation as its Gratitude + Generosity Team (aka Stewardship Committee). We can’t imagine Sebastopol without this church and each of us are committed to supporting our mutual ministry and mission with a financial gift, each according our means.

Yours in Christ,

Jeff Boal, Lorinda Bradley, Emily Davis, Kristen DelMonte, Bobbie Johanson, Keenan & Patty Foster, Kathie Mayhew, Birgit & Luis Quezada

The local church ministry and mission outreach of Community Church saves lives:

    • Over forty 12-step groups meet every week
    • People with no home take showers every Tuesday – Friday
    • Middle Schoolers engage in interfaith dialogue
    • High Schoolers in Confirmation explore their faith with trusted adults
    • Women in Bible Study knit hats for newborn babies
    • Men go on retreat to consider spirituality for the two halves of life
    • People sing together like almost no other place in our culture
    • A hopeful word is preached that defies the dysfunctional politics of fear
    • Groups of youth and adults are sent to plant trees, serve food, and build homes

    2019 Pledge Drive By The Numbers

    Number of Pledges

    • 327 Current “Active Members” of Community Church
    • 250 Number of households receiving pledge packets
    • 143 Number of households making pledges for 2018
    • 57 Percentage of household making pledges for 2018
    • 160 Goal of households making pledges for 2019

    Amount of Pledges

    • 322,732 Dollar amount of pledges made for 2018 local ministry
    • 369,000 Goal for dollar amount of pledges toward 2019 local ministry

    14 % increase 2019 local ministrygoal over 2018 actual pledges

    • 33,580 Dollar amount of pledges made for 2018 mission giving
    • 41,000 Goal for dollar amount of pledges toward 2019 mission giving

    22% increase 2019 missiongiving goal over 2018 actual pledges

    Relevant Dates

    • Nov 4 Last day to offer pledge cards during worship
    • Nov 11 Gratitude Sunday – end of pledge drive’s public phase
    • Nov 12 Follow up phase - budget created with pledges received
    • Jan 27 Annual Meeting, 2019 budget approved
    • Jan 28 Budget permitting, Search Committee posts church profile, begins receiving profiles from candidates for Associate Minister for Faith Formation position
    • Jan 31 Last day for Pastor Rachel as Associate Minister for Children & Families
    • Feb 1 Budget permitting, first day for Pastor Rachel as Minister for Pastoral Care
    • Feb 1 First day for temporary Children’s Ministry Coordinator
    • Jun 30 Last day for Emily Syal as Youth Ministry Coordinator
    • July 31 Last day for Children’s Ministry Coordinator
    • Aug 1 Target start date for new Associate Minister

    2019 Selected Projected Budget Numbers

    • 33,280 12-month salary for half-time Minister for Pastoral Care
    • 4,660 12-month pension benefit for Minister for Pastoral Care
    • 33,280 6-month salary for new full-time Associate Minister for Faith Formation
    • 4,660 6-month pension benefit for new Associate Minister
    • 50,000 Housing Funds already available to assist new Associate Minister

    2020 Projected Budget Numbers

    • 66,560 12-month salary for full-time Associate Minister for Faith Formation
    • 9,320 12-month pension benefit for Associate Minister
    • 33,280 12-month salary for half-time Minister for Pastoral Care
    • 4,660 12-month pension benefit for Minister for Pastoral Care

    How Much Should I Pledge?

    Pledges are confidential and are up to the individual. There is no set expectation, but we are challenged to give generously within our individual means.

    How much should I pledge? is an important personal decision to make prayerfully in conversation with others in your household and with God. Your pledge should be realistic based on your financial situation, but it should also be exciting to allow resources to flow to the church you love. Here are several ways people think about how much to pledge:

      • Proportional Giving The Bible talks about giving first fruits of the harvest (as opposed to giving what’s left over), and making a pledge that is proportional to one’s income. For example, 5% of $60,000 is $3000 or $250/month. Some people choose to tithe, pledging 10% of one’s income. Others practice a “modern tithe,” striving to give 5% to the church and 5% to other organizations that one values.
      • Comparative Giving - Look at the other things you spend your money on. Does your gift to the church match the value you place on this community vis-à-vis other priorities in your life? Your daily espresso drink might cost $5 or $1825/year. A week-long vacation might cost $5000. How does your gift to the church compare with other ways you use your money?
      • Share-Based Giving - The annual ministry budget of the church is currently around $400,000. With 323 people on our membership rolls, that’s about $1200/member annually.
      • Grace-Filled Giving – Whatever you decide to pledge will be just right and just enough. Gifts large and small given with a grateful and generous heart are equally wonderful.
      Click here to view a chart to help determine what your monthly giving would be based on the percentage you are using.

      How Will My Pledge Be Used?

      Income from operating pledges are used to fund:

      • Programs - worship services, education, community outreach, youth and other programs.
      • Staff - salaries and benefits for our ministers, and other staff members.
      • Operational Expenses - utilities, facility maintenance, office supplies, and other overhead.
      • Reserves - money set aside for future major expenses

      Additionally, you may pledge to our congregation’s wider mission, for the work of the wider UCC, the local Inter-Church Food Pantry and other outreach ministries

      Once you submit your annual pledge card, you have several choices on how to fulfill you commitment. The traditional method of giving during the offertory at church services is always appreciated. Envelopes are in the pews for those who prefer this method. However, some may also consider automated bank payments.

      Automated Bank Pay allows you to setup scheduled and automated contributions to be sent from your checking or savings account directly to the church. Please check with your bank for details – most authorized payment programs only need the Church Name, Address and a Phone Number

        • The Community Church
        • P.O. Box 579
        • Sebastopol, CA 95473
        • 707-823-2484

        While away on vacation, you have peace of mind knowing that your pledge has been received and is contributing to the work of the church, especially during those otherwise low cash flow months of the year.

        Other reasons to sign up for Automated Bank Pay

        • You have moved away, but still want to support the Community Church of Sebastopol
        • Peace-of-mind knowing that the church is receiving your contribution even if you are unable to attend
        • All contributions are recorded for you on your bank statement with date of settlement!

        Estate Planning

        Finally, please consider making The Community Church one of your beneficiaries of your estate. By naming The Community Church in your will or trust, you can create a lasting legacy for future generations. Contact your Financial Planner or Estate Attorney for details.